Phnom Penh (Agenzia Fides) - "We remain, whatever happens". These are the words that Father Emile wrote on 8 April 1975 a few days before the entry of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh. Emile was there, among the people who had generously agreed to give his life, sent by the Foreign Missions of Paris in 1964. Look at the Lord who gave himself for us – is what he liked to say in those days – so that we could have life in abundance", is what His Exc. Mgr. Olivier Schmitthaeusler, MEP, current Vicar Apostolic of Phnom Penh, said during the funeral Mass of His Exc. Mgr. Emile Destombes, MEP (1935-2016), Vicar Apostolic of Phnom Penh from 2001 to 2010, who died on January 28.
In his homily, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Vicar Apostolic described Destombes’ life as "a life given to God and to men in service and prayer", according to the willingness expressed in the prayer of Charles de Foucauld, "Father,I abandon myself into your hands. Do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all. I accept all", that Bishop Emile loved to pray every day.
"What a wonderful sign of life offered, which ended with the Eucharistic celebration. His last word was Yes!", continued the Vicar. Bishop Destombes lived "full trust in God".
"As Bishop, Shepherd among his flock, he cared that the Church was rooted in the cambodian territory, helping the 'little flock' to live in prayer, listening to the Word". With him, the Church in Cambodia - concluded Mgr. Schmitthaeusler - initiated a process of growth, commitment to education, with the arrival of many religious congregations, in the purchase of land, in launching new communities and building many chapels. So today the whole Cambodian Church remembers him with great gratitude". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 1/2/2016)